Incorporate the Internet into Overall Marketing Strategy
No business starts without a business plan – it’s the blueprint they follow to make themselves a success. But a marketing plan doesn’t always come next, and that’s a mistake. Knowing how you’ll market your products and services is as important as deciding what those products and services are.
The first step in developing the strategy is determining your message.
1. What are you selling? Is it a product or a service?
2. Who are you trying to reach? What is your target audience?
3. What do you want people to know about what you can offer them? Why should they buy from you and not your competitors?
All of these questions can be answered through careful research. Look at companies that you’d like to emulate. What do they do right, and what could they improve on?
Once you decide on what your message is, the next question is how you want to deliver that message. There are many different ways to do so, and the Internet is an increasingly critical one.
The evolution of the Internet as a business tool has added an extra layer to any marketing strategy, and one that is not nearly as easy for many people to identify or implement as many traditional forms.
If you take a close look at what’s out there and what works, you’ll find that the online outlets really aren’t as different from the old standbys as you might think. It’s adjusting your mindset to fit with the times. For example, an advertising campaign five years ago might have consisted of a mix of TV, radio and newspaper ads combined with news releases, promotions and remote events.
Now, factoring the Internet into the equation, you’re simply adding a few versions of the same methods:
1. Display ads can be created for web pages, and a TV commercial becomes a video to post on YouTube.
2. News releases are sent to sites such as PRWeb, and can be released to sites that cater to your type of business. They can also be posted on your own site and promoted through Twitter feeds and Facebook posts to your subscribers and followers.
3. Promotions can be done through your website, for both physical events and virtual ones, such as a product sale.
4. Events that might have once been limited to a radio remote can now be streamed live.
Again, research into what works and doesn’t for your competitors can shed some light on what can be effective for you. The Internet adds one crucial piece of information that was previously difficult to find, the ability to get instant feedback. Look at the comments posted on blogs or videos to see what potential customers really think, and adjust your materials to fit accordingly.
It’s important to remember that, like any other form of marketing or advertising, unless you or someone in your operation has experience in these areas, it may be best to find a company with extensive experience in not only assisting with development of a marketing strategy, but also how to integrate the Internet into that overall plan.